I recently drove through the western Slovenian village of Col, just up the road from Ajdovščina, which sits on the edge of a plateau with terrific west-facing views of the Vipava River valley (above). At 619m (2030 ft) above sea level, it held strategic importance dating back to the Romans, and as an important road junction, was an ideal place to collect tolls, thus its name, from the German zoll. Population 498 (2002).
When I was snapping a few pics of this rundown eyesore in the center of town, a local approached eager to give me the scoop. Once the most prestigious building in the village, housing a guesthouse/restaurant, or gostilna, and the local police station, its Italian owner is ignoring it like the plague, choosing to let it crumble and rot. It’s been sitting like this for more than a decade, he said, and the county, or opčina, is powerless to do anything about it.
There are plenty of hiking trails through the forests and hills nearby, and you can check out Roman ruins on the nearby Šance, Šturmanik and Rižemberk hills. Not sure what this was, just a few Kms further up the road. And old Italian military installation?